Lunar New Year

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I’m Asian.

Well, a Filipino, with a mix of chinese blood running through my veins.

So in our family, the Lunar New Year is a reason for us to celebrate New Year the second time around. :)

My mother usually does the preparations, especially all the Feng Shui stuff. The rest of the Family contribute in cleaning the house or food preparation. In my case, I am too busy to do something and so, my usual tired self slept before midnight and just ate today some leftovers. Poor me!

But ah… look at what I found!

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That’s my share of goodies! weeeeeh … that’s what I call, abundance and happiness! :)

So, my wish for everyone: a blessed and abundant year ahead.

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Welcome 2015!

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We’ve gone back to our lovely mountain!

Unfortunately this time, sans our beloved Daddy…

It was a way for us to remember our good times with him, here on this mountain resort, and also to let him know that as we move on to live life without him, he will always stay in our hearts.

And this time, we welcomed the new year with dear friends, the people who have been with us in the past year. I am forever grateful to friends, for with them, life is made bearable, meaningful and more beautiful.

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@The Temple of Leah, with the Domingo family, Marsha Halls and the Kids.

On the first day of 2015, we have discovered this massive building next to the mountain resort. I thought this was the famous restaurant that people go to, and they thought this was a hotel. If we had not decided to hike up to this place, we would not have discovered the wonder of this place!

The Temple of Leah! Is built (construction is still ongoing) by Teodorico Soriano Adarna, in memory of his beloved wife, Leah Adarna. Designed and built by the Adarna clan, this temple is an art gallery and museum, and shows us some amazing Greek/Roman architecture.

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We were all in awe and wonder at the magnificence of this temple. It is said to have 24 chambers, all to contain the collections of the family over the years. But for now, it is only the grounds and the lobby that’s open to the public.

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The Kids have missed their Father terribly, and were quite teary-eyed when we entered the resort. But I guess, going back to this place, plus the fresh air, food, fun, and friends have somehow healed and patched up that empty space in our hearts. We were no longer a group of four, but now a bigger group, and one little darling Victoria!

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Here’s wishing you all a great and smooth ride for 2015!

Thanks for dropping by.

See yah!

Go Macro

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In my quest for Macro

I did a few more clicks,

here, there and everywhere (within the backyard, actually!)

Still using my Smartphone and newly bought clip lens.

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With a smartphone, I cannot adjust the settings manually. It’s all just click and go. Also, since I am using a clip lens, I could not use a flash as it casts a big shadow into the image. :(

The only proper thing to do is, to buy real macro lenses for my DSLR camera.

But in the meantime, this will do.

Thanks for stopping by…

Love yah!

My First Shot at Macro

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There was a time, since I got my D5100, that it never left my grip. I took shots of almost everything I can lay my eyes on: food, Kids, events, things, places…

ALL!

Then I got busy with work, and other stuff, and lost sight of it all.

Somewhere along the way, I got invited to join an exclusive group for Macro Photography.

WOOOOOAH!

My eyes popped.

I love how the minutest of things get so big, and so …

important all of a sudden!

I really was dying to try it, BUT when I asked around, a macro lens for a DSLR would cost me tons of money, which I am not prepared to part just yet.

Going back to this macro group, I kept on ogling at other people’s pictures, wishing they are mine.

All of a sudden, this young member started posting, and said that he only used a smartphone and a macro clip lens. Hey, wait… I’ve seen those in bazaars around town, but I have never believed they actually work!

But at the time of my great discovery, was the weekend when Hagupit was expected to wreck havoc in our country so, I had to wait for things to die down a bit.

So at the instant I was able to go out of the house, I immediately headed to where I first found these…

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weeeh! What a joy to behold! I was so excited and was like a child, once again! But this time, instead of a DSLR, I have my smartphone in tow.

I am not that proud of my first shots though, for I could not find a single bug, spider, fly, ant … bah! So I have to content myself with plants and a few Chinese coins.

But only this time.

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sooooooooo…

what do you think?

oh, go easy on me please. :) I am a beginner, and would really love to learn to take beautiful pix of you, guys. (if you remember my previous post about Strobes on Food)

Thanks for stopping by.

See yah!

Strobes on Food

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A week ago, I was invited to attend a photography workshop hosted by iCenter, a local reseller of Apple products. The speaker was an acquaintance, someone I met when I volunteered a year ago to help with Typhoon Haiyan survivors.

So, with my Nikon D5100 in tow, we were given tips on how to shoot food.

And after much experimentation with the lighting, I tried to shoot…

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There’s too much light, and it had to do with my camera settings. I took another shot, and this time, a tighter one.

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But blurry… so, here’s another one.

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Better, I think! But I also think that I could have done better, if only I had more time with the subject.

Well, I had to scoot and let someone else practice. And so, I had to deal with the special treat they gave to the workshop participants. I just had to take a picture of it first, before taking a bite.

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And how I love them, being so Christmas-sy! (I’m Joy to the World, remember?)

:)

Thanks y’all, for stopping by.

See yah!

Horror Office

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This is a short story, hurriedly done and posted outside our office door, as we dressed up as ghosts for the Halloween. {yeah, I know, this is super late! But better late than never…}

†† This is a story of six hardworking employees in one of the offices here in Oakridge Business Park, which happened in February of 2002. ††

All six of them were trying to beat the deadline that day, and had to go on overtime. The group agreed to go home by 11pm. Unfortunately, that never happened!

Unknown to the group, is the company’s security guard’s evil plan for that most gruesome night. The guard fell in love with Miguela, one of the lady employees. But love didn’t smile on him. Rather, he was scorned and mocked by this woman and the group she’s working with.

And so, on that dreadful night, when everyone but the six had gone home, he masterfully executed his revenge. He took them out one by one, when one of the group would go to the restroom, they were grabbed by the guard and butchered. He raped Miguela, before he mutilated her body and cut her head off. He placed her head on his desk, and capped the night with a loud BANG!

He knew, he will be caught and so, ended his own life to be with his lady love…

That was 12 years ago, and a new company called Catapult has settled in this very spot. And it is said that sometimes, especially when the moon is darkest, these ghost employees can be seen scuffling around, still trying to beat their DEADline.

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That’s all Folks.

See yah!

The Cat in the Hat

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I can never forget this cat…

for he’s my favorite cat in the world!

And while my classmates and friends in grade school were busy playing after school, I would burrow my head in one of Dr. Seuss’s books and be with the Cat in the Hat.

Late last week, a high school friend reached out to me and asked me to do something for her Kids. That is, to bring into life this Cat AND…

Thing 1 and Thing 2!

It got me excited, of course. But she came to me late last week, requesting that I make the costumes for her Kids who will be using them today. Oh my… what a dilemma!

In the end, I cannot refuse. To be able to execute them, from my heart and mind, and to see 3 adorable Kids donning my creation, is something I just cannot pass up.

Because of the limited time, I couldn’t make the blue “wigs” for Thing 1 and Thing 2, but I definitely was able to do Cat’s top hat!

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From the first moment she told me, I always thought of the top hat to be crocheted. And I did just that!

So, here are the Harmels …

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What do you think?

I hope I gave it justice… :)

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See yah!

Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth

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For thousands of years, people spoke of a fountain or spring that is said to restore YOUTH to anyone who drinks/bathes of its waters.

Writers have told of this magical body of water, and thousands have searched for it. It’s a myth, they said.

But what if that fountain is just a symbol? What if, it can be found just within you?

A friend has given me a copy of this book by Peter Kelder, that explains in detail the Five Rites (a set of yoga-like exercises that are do-able) that will help balance your energy centers and secrete hormones to make you youthful again.

Click on the image of the book below, to open your copy.

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I have done 11 of each Rite now for 40 days, and feel that my back is stronger with the pain gone. I have not gone to a masseuse since, when I would go twice a month for a massage before I started the exercises. Yes, I have grey hair and though it is not that obvious, I do notice some black hair growing back!

My 60-ish friend has all grey hair, and is still doing 5 reps of each set, but what’s amazing is, the black baby hairs that are growing on her head! For real! I saw hers and that’s when I started to take a closer look at mine.

Of course, I always say, don’t believe me. Try it! See what it can do to you!

And tell us about it.

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Thanks for dropping by.

See yah!

Grandmothers Old Fashioned Homemade Fudge

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At first glance, I fell in love with it.

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fudge

I knew I have to know how to make it, whatever it takes!

Good thing is, the site was given and so, it did not take me ages to look for the recipe. But wait, there’s more! Granny did not only give out her best-tasting recipe, it also is available to be shared right here!

Thank you, Grandmothers Kitchen!

And so, here goes the oh-so-yummy, Grandmother’s Old Fashioned Homemade Fudge.

Ingredients include:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Tools:

Candy thermometer

Directions:

Note: Making perfect fudge can be a bit tricky and sometimes fudge will crystalize or not set. This old fashioned recipe makes a fantastic fudge. It is best to have a candy thermometer on hand so you know you have reached the necessary temperature.

Butter an 8×8 inch square baking pan. Set aside.
Grease the sides of a medium sized sauce pan with butter.
In saucepan combine sugar, cocoa and milk.
Stir to blend, then bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat and simmer. Do not stir again.
Place candy thermometer in pan and cook until temperature reaches 238 degrees F (114 degrees C).

*If you are not using a thermometer, then cook until a drop of this mixture in a cup of cold water forms a soft ball. Feel the ball with your fingers to make sure it is the right consistency. It should flatten when pressed between your fingers.

Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla extract.
Beat with a wooden spoon or hand mixer until the fudge loses its shine.
Pour into prepared pan and let cool and cut into small squares.

Original Old Fashioned Homemade Fudge Recipe found at Grandmothers Kitchen Recipes.

So when you’ve tried this recipe out, you can tell us about it too!

See yah!

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